Alberto Caeiro

ON A WHITELY cloudy day I get sad, almost afraid,
And I begin to meditate about problems I make up.

If man were what he should be,
Not a sick animal, but the most perfect animal,
A direct animal, not indirect,
He'd be a creature with another way of finding sense in things,
Different and true.
He would've acquired a feeling of things being "connected";
A feeling like seeing and hearing the "wholeness" of things,
And not, like we have, a thought about "wholeness";
And not, like we have, an idea about the "wholeness" of things.
And so we'd see-we wouldn't have the notion of "connected" or of "wholeness"
Because the meaning of "wholeness" or of "connected" doesn't come from
wholeness or from a connection
But from true Nature, maybe neither whole nor parts.

The only mystery of the universe is the more and not the less.
We see too much in things-that's what's wrong, that's why we have doubts.
What exists transcends what I believe exists.
Reality is just real and isn't thought about.
The universe isn't an idea of mine.
My idea of the universe is that it's an idea of mine.
Night doesn't fall for my eyes
But my idea of the night is that it falls for my eyes.
Beyond my thinking and having any thoughts
The night falls concretely
And the shining of stars exists like it had weight.

Just as words fail when they try to express thought,
So thoughts fail when they try to express reality.
But, as the thought reality is not the said one, but the thought one,
So the same said reality exists, not the one being thought.
And so everything that exists, simply exists.
Everything else is a kind of being sleepy,
An old age which has been with us from the childhood of our sickness.

A mirror reflects right; it doesn't make mistakes because it doesn't think.
To think is essentially to be wrong.
To be wrong is essentially to be blind and deaf.

[trans. Chris Daniels & Dana Stevens]

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